Bombas performance running ankle socks

Bombas performance running ankle socks DEFAULT

About Bombas

Bombas is a unisex apparel brand that primarily focuses on delivering premium socks, as well as a lighter product line of quality t-shirts. The socially-conscious brand is targeted towards women, men, and kids. The following review will cover various aspects behind the brand to ensure that you make the right purchase decision.

Overview of Bombas

Bombas is a nationally recognized company that delivers premium socks and t-shirts. The brand carries a line of quality products that are aesthetically humble, yet vibrant.

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The main distinction it makes from other socks brands is in the seven material features that were engineered for better comfort and performance. Available in a multitude of colors and simple patterns, Bombas offers a selection of exciting items that work wonders for any outfit.

In 2014, David and Randy, the founders, appeared on the hit television show, “Shark Tank”. Prior to their appearance, Bombas had amassed $450,000 in revenue sales (including the donations raised) in the last nine months and projected the company valuation at $4 million.




Simple, sharp, and aesthetically pleasing colors and designs with a wide selection of cuts and styles available for men, women, and childrenDesigns can appear “busy”, especially with logo
Premium fabrics and testing to eliminate conventional problems found in traditional socksLimited number of patterns available
Website includes size chart guide to ensure proper purchaseLimited t-shirt product line
One for one donation “Giving Directory” program that supports local communities across the nation to help the homeless with sock donationsAbove average prices due to premium material
Free shipping over $50 with Happiness Guarantee protection which allows for free returns and exchanges with all costs covered 

The brand focuses on the following four core values:

  • Delivering premium clothing items for women, men, and children
  • The use of quality fabrics and engineering to cover seven material improvements to ensure maximum comfort and performance for everyday wear
  • A one for one, purchase for donation program to help support local communities across the nation
  • A 100% Happiness Guarantee Policy that delivers a hassle-free, satisfaction guaranteed, customer service support
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Bombas is a brand with a clear mission statement to help those in need. After learning that socks were the most requested item, Bombas has founded their company based on the idea that everyone has the power to make a difference, even with a single purchase.

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The company has partnered with various homeless shelters, non-profit, and organizations to help various communities across the U.S. The brand supports such causes by matching every purchase with a donation of their own.

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Bombas Socks Review

Where are Bombas Socks Made?

Bombas are made from highly recognized cotton and merino wool producers across the globe. The final product is assembled in China and delivered to the United States. The brand fixates itself on using the softest long staple yarns that centralize their focus on delivering antimicrobial and moisture-wicking features in every sock.

Dress Socks

The starting price point of Bombas’ dress socks are $15. The brand delivers a selection of dress socks with an emphasis on calf, over calf, and ribbed styles. While their main pattern consists of floral and stripes, the brand carries what seems like an endless combination of colors that are vibrant and well suited for any stylish look.

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The various lengths are a mix of cotton, polyester, nylon, and spandex to ensure a sure-fit cuff, as well as a firm stay-up feature. The balance in elasticity and tension allows the socks to sit just tight enough to hold in place and not slip down.

Bombas’ dress socks incorporate Y-stitched heel and seamless toe stitching for a smooth and comfortable wear that’s uninterrupted with the feeling of stitching pushed against the skin. The brand also uses their signature honeycomb arch support system and Achilles cushion on major contact points for an easy fit that provides maximum comfort and softness.

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Running Socks

The running socks come at a base price point of $16 and are available in the quarter and ankle cuts. Made with polyester, nylon, cotton, and spandex, the product line is both lightweight and flexible making it ideal for any level of intensity in an active lifestyle.

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The main distinct feature of the performance running socks is found in the signature Bombas Hex Tec which allows for better ventilation and moisture-wicking. The running socks were designed to maximize cushioning at strategic contact points and breathability through its airflow design within the material.

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Merino Wool Socks

The merino wool socks come in a variety of cuts from no show socks to knee-high socks and are available at a starting price of $14. The special blend of material consists of wool, polyester, spandex, and nylon to produce a super soft pair of socks. Bombas uses the combination of fabrics to ensure that the merino wool socks are perfect with any outfit, anytime of the year.

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The socks deliver a fantastic soft feel that not only contours to your feet, but also enhances the comfort of your foot. The moisture-wicking character of the material also functions to circulate airflow to keep your feet dry and breathable. Enjoy a pair of the softest merino wool socks all year round.

Ankle Socks

Bombas’ ankle socks are available in a plethora of colors with a starting price of $12. The socks are made with a mix of cotton, polyester, rubber, and spandex and are available in solid colors, simple designs, and multicolored editions. However, the ankle socks truly stand out with their functional and practical features that elevates comfort and performance.

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The socks deliver the seamless toe, Y-stitched heel, and honeycomb arch support system to eliminate all discomfort when wearing the socks. In addition, the ankle socks are supported by a cushioned footbed and a blister tab, so you get the most comfortable wear for any kind of day.

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No Show Socks

The no show socks have been praised by GQ magazine. With a base price of $12, Bombas’ no show socks are made of cotton, polyester, spandex, and nylon. The blend of the materials prove that the socks have been carefully tested to prevent slipping off while delivering high performance.

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The socks offer superb comfort, and edges just on the maximum amount of coverage while remaining subtle. The light fabric, delivered with engineered technology, provides exceptional performance that’s powered with its stay-put heel grips and a cushioned footbed.

Wearing the Bombas no show socks will have you wondering how they were able to incorporate all the material and features while maintaining its compact style.

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Bombas Socks Size Chart

Bombas offers a brilliant size guide on their main website. While most of us know our socks and shirt size, the chart is a useful tool to ensure you’re as precise as you can be. The Bombas size guide filters its chart by separating its various styles for women, men, and children.

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The guide is simple, and not only does the chart show your size for socks, but it also provides a detailed account of your measurements for shirts. The size chart is both informative and practical to understanding your specific needs to help make the right purchase decision.

Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new about yourself.

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Where to Buy Bombas Socks?

Retail Stores

A limited selection of Bombas socks are available at participating retail and department stores such as Nordstrom. No independent retail stores currently operate.

Bombas Online

The full range of Bombas socks are currently available exclusively online.

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Is Bombas Socks Available on Amazon?

Yes, a limited selection of Bombas socks are available on Amazon. Ratings and reviews also praise the socks for their functionality, comfort, performance, and price. Check it out for yourself.

Bombas Coupon & Discount Codes

The following Bombas coupon and discount codes are currently available for use:

  • Bombas currently offers a limited time special of 25% off any order and free shipping for new customers at their main website
  • Bombas currently offers recurring members 25% off any order on their main website
  • Bombas currently offers recurring members free shipping on orders of $30+
  • Receive 30% off your order with the following code: COMFORT20
  • Receive 20% off your order with the following code: TRYBOMBAS

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Bombas FAQ


Bombas ships their products both within the U.S. and internationally. Shipping options vary depending on location, value order, and speed of delivery.


  • Free shipping is available for purchase orders of a minimum value of $50.00 (note: value must meet minimum requirements after all coupons and discounts have been applied) – 4-7 business days
  • Standard shipping is available for purchase orders below a value of $50.00 at a flat rate of $3.95 – 4-7 business days
  • Priority shipping is available for all purchase orders at a flat rate of $8.00 – 3-5 business days
  • FedEx 2 Day shipping is available for all purchase orders at a flat rate of $25.00 – 2 business days
  • Overnight shipping is available for all purchase orders, but pricing varies depending on location and are subject to change. An accurate cost can be found at the checkout section on the website – next business day


  • Canada Post is available for all purchase orders at a flat rate of $15.00 – 10 business days
  • FedEx International Economy is available for all purchase orders at a flat rate of $45.00 – 10-14 business days

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Return Policy

All returns and exchanges are supported by the Bombas Happiness Guarantee policy which covers all fees (including shipping) with no specific time limit on returns and exchanges.


For more information, inquiries, and services, the customer service team can be reached by submitting a request on their main website, phone, or through their email:

Phone: 800-314-0980
Email: [email protected]

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You think nothing of dropping $100 or more on a pair of running shoes. Ditto for the considerable sums you've invested in compression tights, hydration vests, and anything else that helps you conquer your own personal mountains. But what about your socks? Small as they are, they're probably more responsible for your (dis)comfort than anything else you work out in. If they don't fit properly, welcome to Blister City; if they don't handle moisture well, you're looking at a long, cold day on the trail.

Fear not. Whether you're a boot-camp addict, an ultrarunning aficionado, or a twice-a-week jogger, there's a sock for you. We've sifted through the seemingly unending variety of cut and cushion—and, yes, color—to find options well worth their price tags. Your feet are in good hands.

Updated August 2021: We've added the latest and greatest threads from Tracksmith, Swiftwick, and Zensah. Adrienne So and Peter Rubin have also contributed to this guide.

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Runners obsess over every detail of a running shoe to make sure they have comfort dialed for every step. But many of us will still jam an old cotton sock between that pricey shoe and our foot. The humble sock, however, plays an important role in keeping you dry and warm (or cool).

Check out info below on five of the top performers from our testing. Keep scrolling for all 13 of the best pairs to buy, plus expert tips and info on what to look for so you can avoid irritation on any run.

Comfy Compression

Swiftwick Aspire Four

Swiftwick Aspire Four


Upcycled Materials

Rockay Accelerate

Rockay Accelerate


Fastest Wicking

Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro

Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro


Best for Smelly Feet

Balega Silver

Balega Silver


Most Durable

Darn Tough Run Ultra-Light Cushion

Darn Tough Run Ultra-Light Cushion


Materials Matter

First off, avoid cotton at all costs. Sure, you could safely make it through a 3-mile recovery run in a pair that came from a 12-pack, but on hot or wet days you’ll find cotton absorbs an incredible amount of water and easily causes blisters. Merino wool, on the other hand, is a fiber you can wear year-round thanks to its ability to regulate temperature, move moisture, and resist odors. You’ll find it used in many pairs of performance socks. Most, however, use a mix of synthetic fabrics—nylon, polyester, and spandex—which offers good value and durability, plus prevents irritation.

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Height and Cushioning

The thickness of a sock can do two things: make each step feel a little softer and take up some of the extra room within a shoe. If you like a soft shoe, pair it with a sock that has thick cushioning underfoot for a supremely plush experience. And we often suggest a thick or thin sock to adjust the fit of a shoe. For example, if your pair fits a little loose—but not enough to up a half-size—opt for a thicker sock to take up some of that volume.

Trevor Raab

Parker Feierbach

Unless you’re hitting the trail (where a taller sock will help keep dirt away from your skin and fend off grass and brush scrapes), sock length is a matter of personal style. Crew-length socks have made a comeback in recent years, but the cut offers little performance value—although one could argue that the sock is unable to slide into your shoe like a no-show length sometimes can.

Cuff Height and Cushion Breakdown

  • No-show: Top of cuff sits below the ankle bone and is barely visible above the collar of a running shoe
  • Ankle: Top of cuff sits right on (or slightly below) the ankle bone
  • Quarter: Top of cuff fully covers the ankle bone
  • Crew: Top of cuff sits just at (or slightly below) the middle of the calf

  • No cushion: No additional padding has been added to the sock fabric
  • Light cushion: Sock fabric feels thicker underfoot, but maintains a pronounced feel for the inside of a shoe
  • Medium cushion: Additional padding underfoot is noticeable takes up slightly more space inside of a shoe
  • Max cushion: Underfoot padding is thick, plush, and immediately apparent

How We Tested

Our team of experienced testers spent many hours and miles running year-round to evaluate how these socks fared in a variety of conditions—from hot and humid track workouts to bitter cold runs through the snow to rainy slogs on the trail. We also noted how well they held up between multiple wears and washes. In addition to gathering detailed on-foot impressions, we used a vertical moisture-wicking test to objectively assess how well each sock handled sweat and moisture. To do it, we cut 6-inch-long by 1-inch-wide strips from the socks’ fabric and suspended them from a support stand with one end in blue-dyed water. We then measured the amount of time it took for the water to migrate roughly two inches up each fabric strip.

Lakota Gambill

The pairs we’ve included in this list are some of the top performers across all of our tests, and we’ve indicated the qualities or conditions in which a specific sock excelled. That said, every sock here strikes a good balance of odor control, moisture management, comfort, durability, and value for your runs.


Swiftwick Aspire

Cuff height: Zero, one, two, four, seven, twelve (inches above ankle)
Cushioning: Light

Aspire Four



  • Excellent moisture-wicking
  • Compression is firm, but not restrictive
  • Great for cycling
  • Can feel slightly slick inside shoe
  • Unisex sizing

Opinions were mixed on the Aspire Zero’s height (which barely peeks out from your shoe) for cold-weather runs, but our testers raved about the taller Aspire Four. This sock from Swiftwick is a triple-threat that packs in hidden ventilation, cushioning, and stability. A unique combo of fabrics (nylon, olefin, and spandex) and varying compressive weaves make it especially stable around the ankle, while its Goldilocks cushioning adds softness without feeling mushy. Plus, testers said the sock remained surprisingly light—and just as supportive—even when soaked by the end of drizzly long runs. “The snug compression gives me a little extra support when I’m worried about rolling an ankle on uneven ground,” one tester said. The Aspire can feel a bit slick inside looser-fitting trainers; however, we noticed this only on tight U-turns at the midpoint of out-and-back runs, and when cruising down steep hills. (If you need a super grippy sock for circuit training or agility drills with lots of lateral movements, grab the Flite XT Five instead.)


Injinji Ultra Run

Cuff heights: No-show, quarter, crew
Cushioning: Medium

Ultra Run Crew



  • Consistently reduced blister formation between toes
  • Men’s and women’s models each use individualized knits for specific fit
  • Some testers disliked the feeling of fabric between toes

For one of our testers, between-the-toe blisters were inevitable on long runs—until she took a chance on this pair of Injinjis that wrap each toe in its own sleeve. Made from a blend of polyester, nylon, and a pinch of Lycra, the sock is smooth but not slippery; your toes can glide next to each other without rubbing. Even toe sock skeptics were converted by this pair. “I always thought toe socks were a solution to a non-problem,” said one tester. “As someone who hasn’t struggled with blisters between my toes, I never saw the need—but now I completely get it. I thought they would cause a cramped fit in the forefoot of my trainers, but the opposite was true. The material allowed my toes to move freely, letting each digit splay individually.” The only negatives were that the toe-sock style took us longer to wiggle into, and some testers found the pinky toes a little baggy.

Buy Men’sBuy Women’s


Kane 11 Bedford

Cuff height: Quarter
Cushioning: Medium



  • Size specificity eliminates baggy heel fit
  • Multipack options deliver excellent value
  • Extended sizing (M 7-17 and W 6-12) available in several models

One of our testers, who wears running shoes in a women’s size 9 or 9.5 depending on the brand, was consistently stuck on the line between the typical sock sizing ranges. Large usually left her with a baggy heel fit, medium meant she’d have the same amount of space delegated to a women’s size 7. (Another men’s size 12.5 tester with wide feet occasionally found himself outside available sizing all together.) Both runners felt seen by Kane 11, a brand that makes its socks in specific men’s and women’s sizes, just like shoes. And it follows through on that promise—we felt a noticeable difference between each option. Of the multiple styles we tried, testers gravitated most to pairs made with K-Sport yarn, such as the men’s and women’s Bolt and the women’s Bedford. Depending on the model, the sock’s K-Sport fabric uses slightly different proportions of polyester, nylon, and spandex. “This amount of cushioning, which I would say is on the lighter end of medium, is my favorite for running year-round,” one Bolt tester said. “It’s airy, wicks sweat well, and the grid-like top panel supports my arch well.” Despite some early signs of wear (in the form of loose threads and stitching that got wedged between our toes), the material itself has so far shown itself resilient against any holes.


Swiftwick Pursuit Ultralight

Cuff heights: Zero, one, four, seven (inches above ankle)
Cushioning: None (light also available)

Pursuit Four Ultralight



  • Fast-drying and durable for trail running
  • Very secure inside shoe; no sliding
  • Some runners wanted more underfoot cushioning

Admittedly, the conversations we have at Runner’s World—even virtually—aren’t your usual water-cooler gossip. But during an online chat between test editors, this was the sock that immediately sparked an uproar, with three runners and cyclists using the 100 emoji to declare their fondness for them.Swiftwick uses an all-season merino wool that makes the Pursuit Ultralight feel cool when it’s warm, warm when it’s cool, and always soft and dry. We especially liked how well the thin material kept odor down between washes, and felt just thick enough for comfort, so the sock fits well in both daily trainers and snugger racing flats. (If you want a bit more padding, spring for the cushioned Pursuit.) While it didn’t cause any blisters or rubbing, the toe seam does protrude slightly.


Smartwool PhD Pro Endurance

Cuff height: Crew
Cushioning: Light

PhD Pro Endurance



  • Men’s and women’s specific fits
  • Reinforced, virtually seamless toe for durability and comfort
  • Natural odor resistance
  • Limited cuff heights
  • More expensive

If you’re a believer in ultra-running R&D and sock doping (aka, the notion that snazzy socks make you feel faster), you’ll love the PhD Pro Endurance crew. Smartwool asked ultra-legend Rob Krar to dream up the perfect pair for long-distance runners, and so this rugged sock was born. It uses a combination of merino wool, nylon, and elastane with light cushioning underfoot, but also offers softer padding around the ankle and Achilles. In addition to the vibrant prints, we love it for keeping our feet dry and comfortable in every season; we’ve worn a pair for winter runs and summer races, and through a full year of testing, the Pro Endurance has excelled in all conditions. However, for those especially frigid or snowy long runs come January, we like the men’s and women’s PhD Run Cold Weather Mid Crew even more. It kept our toes toasty (but not sweaty) and stayed in place under running tights.

Buy Men’sBuy Women’s


Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro

Cuff heights: No-show, quarter, crew
Cushioning: Medium

PhD Run Light Elite Micro



  • Cushioning targets heel and toe for comfort without bulk
  • Achilles tab effectively reduces slippage

Even socks with thicker cushioning can efficiently wick sweat away from your skin, which helps prevents blisters from forming on your feet. Just take this plush Smartwool pair, for example—it was the top performer overall in our moisture-wicking test. Made from a soft, cozy blend of merino wool, nylon, and spandex, it was also one of the most comfortable we tested, with targeted underfoot cushioning that didn’t feel bulky or take up too much room in our shoes. Plus, the 52 percent wool construction really cuts down on stink. We found that even after four wears back-to-back, the sock smelled immensely better than standard cotton or polyester models that endured the same sweaty treatment. The only downside was that the Smartwool’s thicker cushioning took longer to dry once it got wet in our follow-up tests, so it’s not the best sock to wear on rainy runs when you’ll be splashing through puddles.

Buy Men’sBuy Women’s


Asics Cushioned Low Cut

Cuff height: No-show
Cushioning: Light

Cushion Low Cut


  • Excellent value
  • Mesh panel offers good breathability

Most multipack socks feel soft and comfortable out of the package, but many lose their original texture after a handful of sweaty runs and washes. Not so with these Asics. The simple budget sock surprised us with its durability and long-lasting stretchy softness that rivaled those with a much bigger price tag. Made from mostly polyester with just a pinch of nylon and spandex, it offers some cushion underfoot without using any cotton. You won’t get any fun prints or patterns here, but our testers gladly traded a few style points for the breathable mesh paneling, adequate moisture-wicking, and light arch compression. Just don’t wear these twice in a row; our testers found that the sock can hold some odor and feels baggy in the heel after a double-wear.


Balega Silver

Cuff height: No-show
Cushioning: Medium



  • Superior odor resistance
  • Full-length cushioning underfoot from heel to toe
  • Low cuff height offers less protection on trails

Running shoes are breeding grounds for bacteria, which of course means your socks are going to stink. While wool will cut down on the odors, you can also boost comfort and smell fresh with this pair from Balega. The sock’s moisture-wicking fibers are covered in silver ions to help kill germs. We found the sock remains stink-free, even after multiple wearings between washes (yes, we know this is gross, but we still do it). Runners will also like the thicker cushioning underfoot, and the breathable top panel kept us cool during an extended bout of muggy 90-plus degree days. Available in a slew of neon options, it’ll add a pop of color to your next virtual race—why not be bold and go with bright lilac and watermelon? We just wish the Silver was available in more cuff heights.


Darn Tough Run Ultra-Light Cushion

Cuff heights: No-show, quarter
Cushioning: Medium (also available without cushioning)

Run Ultra-Light Cushion




  • Durable yet soft construction
  • Excellent moisture-wicking
  • Fit is not left/right foot specific

Performance socks aren’t cheap, but rest easy knowing that if you ever poke your big toe through this merino sock you’ll get a replacement pair for free. But it’s unlikely you will wear this sock down; we found it to be the most durable, lightweight wool model. Darn Tough uses a high stitch count for the Run Ultra-Light, so it’s velvety soft against your foot and wraps the arch with just enough compression for a secure fit and a smidge of extra support. “I have a purple and green pair of Darn Tough socks that I’ve been wearing for almost three years, and they’re still as cushy as they were on the first run,” said one tester. “They’re my go-to for 20-milers during marathon training because they stay put and don’t bunch or slide, even when I’m moving for hours and my feet start to swell.” One tester who had a little extra space around the pinky toe thought left-right specificity could make the fit even better.

Buy Men’sBuy Women’s


On Running High

Cuff heights: Ankle, quarter, crew
Cushioning: Medium

High Sock


  • Multiple cuff and color options
  • Snug fit securely wraps the arch
  • Mesh panels ventillate well
  • Some runners may want more cushioning

Swiss company On Running builds apparel that’s all about performance but doesn’t sacrifice style. It’s a runner’s equivalent to Rapha cycling gear, by comparison. That means with models like the High, you’re getting premium materials and workmanship with attention to the details (like a left-and-right specific fit, stylish color-blocking up the Achilles, and a specialized poly-elastane blended fabric). “My heart skipped a beat when I thought I lost one in the wash,” one tester said. “They’re my all-time favorite—soft and stretchy, with just enough cushioning and compression.” The technical mesh panels hold enough warmth in the winter—but also resist feeling swampy when it gets warmer—and the toe seam lays flat and smooth, so it won’t cause irritation when crammed into a low-volume toe box. (Don’t worry if you’re not into high socks; there are lower cuts for both men and women, too.)

Buy Men’sBuy Women’s


Feetures Elite

Cuff height: No-show, quarter, crew
Cushioning: Light (ultra-light and max also available)




  • Left-right foot specificity dials in fit
  • Full-length padding also covers tops of toes
  • Insufficient moisture-wicking for sweatier feet

We’ve long loved Feetures’s socks because of their dedicated left and right fits and seamless construction. Together, those two aspects dialed in fit and comfort with no baggy toes or irritating seams, but the material itself was always really slippery inside a shoe. Now, the Elite line is built with Tencel fibers and has a very high 200-needle thread count for that same comfortable fit without the sliding. The deep heel pocket and snug wrap around the arch ensure the sock stays in place on your foot; none of our testers reported any slipping around in their shoes on runs. Even runners who preferred no-cushion socks were won over by Feetures’s cushier offerings. “The inner padding is super soft and a little fuzzy, but overall the sock is still snug, secure, and lightly compressive,” one tester said of the max-cushion Elite. “It feels like a cozy cabin sock meets performance running.”


Rockay Accelerate

Cuff height: Ankle
Cushioning: Medium (max also available)



  • Uses elastic ring (instead of bulkier Achilles tab) to reduce slippage
  • Excellent odor resistance
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Sizing runs slightly small
  • Very low cuff height limits visibility of reflective logo

Rockay is a new kid on the block in the world of running socks, but the brand has quickly become a standout with its commitments to performance and use of eco-friendly materials. The Accelerate is made of 100-percent recycled plastics taken from the oceans in its premium nylon construction, and an anti-odor Polygiene treatment is specifically applied to let you wear the socks multiple times between washes, so you’re also using less water and energy. It was surprisingly soft on our feet despite its thinness, with a weave that provides nice compression over the arch. An elastic ring just below the ankle holds the sock up better than most no-show running pairs we’ve tested. “Usually I stay away from ankle socks because they end up sliding down into my shoes,” one tester said. “But the Accelerate stayed put, and its stretchy top band even seemed to help keep loose gravel from getting inside the sock.”


Bombas Performance Running Merino

Cuff heights: Ankle, quarter, crew
Cushioning: Max

Merino Performance Running


  • Targeted compression supports arch
  • Good odor control
  • Slightly warmer than non-merino version; best for cool weather runs

A staple of any “best socks” list, Bombas impresses our team. We like this merino wool version of the brand’s Performance Running sock even more than the standard because it swaps out the cotton blend for a mix of wool and nylon. That makes it a bit pricier, but we think it’s worth it for the improved durability, funk-fighting prowess, and buttery softness on foot. “I wish I had a pair to wear every day,” said one tester. “I loved the extra cushioning in the heel and toe with more compression around my arch.” Credit the plush-zoned cushioning, designed for boosting comfort without causing any unwanted “squish” on touchdown. The midsection of the sock uses Bombas’s signature snug honeycomb knit, which adds support while still feeling airy and light. We especially love that the brand matches every purchase with a donated pair to someone affected by homelessness.

Buy Men’sBuy Women’s

Bombas Set of 3 Ankle Socks on QVC

Socks often get overlooked when it comes to running gear.

Sure, you can have perfectly designed shoes that help your feet on the pavement, but if you don't have the right sock, you'll most likely get slowed down by blisters. In just a few strides, your run can go from pleasant to painful if you’re not careful.

As any runner will tell you, the proper pair of running socks can make all the difference. Whether you're someone who likes extra cushioning, a tab on the back, a thicker sock, or a thinner sock, the right running socks will give you an overall better experience. Each element — from the shape to the material to the design — contribute to the socks' overall performance.

What to Look for in Running Socks

For starters, you want to avoid cotton. Cotton retains moisture, so once your feet get sweaty and wet, they’ll stay that way. A synthetic material works best for running socks because it wicks away moisture and keeps your feet nice and dry.

What you want to look for is merino wool. Merino wool is a popular fabric for activewear because of its effective odor control, breathability, and temperature-regulating abilities, and running socks are no exception here. Its fibers are also smaller and smoother than other types of wool, which means it’s softer on your skin.

It doesn’t matter if you’re running marathons or just 20 minutes daily on the treadmill — the socks matter. So, we set out to find the best running socks available by testing out the most popular brands around.

Best Running Socks

Testing Process

Over the course of the past year and more runs than we can count, we had editors, Hearst employees, and seasoned runners test the top running socks. We asked them to give us feedback on how the socks affected their performance. Did they stay in place during a run? Was there any chafing in the toe area that could cause a blister? Was there added arch support? We wanted to know it all.

After reviewing what our testers had to say, we narrowed down the list to picks that held up over the course of the testing period and they'd actually buy themselves. Check out the top running socks that made the cut.

Best Overall

Balega Hidden Comfort No-Show Running Socks


If you've ever researched running socks, chances are you've come across Balega. Everything about Balega's sock design is made to avoid blisters, from the seamless construction, to the super-stretchy material, to the ventilation panels. We polled several marathon runners during our testing, and a handful of them said Balega's Hidden Comfort No-Show running socks were their go-to for runs of any distance.

Compared to some other top-rated socks, like Feetures and Bombas, the material is simply softer and feels better on the foot. It is worth noting that this pair is on the thinner side, but we've never noticed any fatigue on the bottom of the foot or in the arch, and we've been wearing these socks for years.

Most Durable Socks

Men's PhD® Run Ultra Light Micro Socks



This is hands-down the best merino wool running sock, and it's no surprise since SmartWool has figured out how to make the softest wool material. These socks feature a performance-oriented fit, mesh ventilation, and a Shred Shield that helps reduce wear from toes. They also deem their wool "Indestructawool", and we can attest. The PhD Ultra Light Micro are definitely the most durable running socks we tested, and showed no signs of wear around the toe area.

When it comes to washing, the brand recommends washing them inside-out to ensure the sock is getting cleaned properly.

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Best-Constructed Sock

BOMBAS Men's Performance Running Ankle Socks


BOMBAS socks really do live up to their name: BOMB-ASS SOCKS. They have a special Hex Tec construction that help the material breathe and give it moisture-wicking properties. Our tester, Matt Gorman, who loves running outdoors, pointed out how comfy they were and rated them a five out of five for their arch support. Each sock — specifically contoured for either your right or left foot and marked by an “R” or an “L” — is designed to allow airflow in all the right places.

BOMBAS also donates a pair of socks — the most-requested clothing item in homeless shelters — for every sock purchased.

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Best Lightweight Sock

Feetures Unisex High Performance Cushion No Show Tab Socks


Feetures’ high-cushion socks have a unique Y-heel construction that’s specifically designed to prevent the sock from sliding down your foot. The seamless toe and 200-needle construction offer comfort and durability that make this running sock a go-to. Our tester, Erica Murphy (a marathon runner), commented on how soft and lightweight they felt from the moment she slipped them on. She also thought the sock felt solid enough that it wouldn’t form a hole in the toe after a couple of wears during long-distance runs.

The Sock That Stays Put

FITS Unisex Ultra Light Runner No Show Socks


If your worst nightmare is a sock that rides down during your runs, slip on a pair of FITS’ Ultra Light No Show Runner and you’ll have nothing but sweet dreams. Our tester, Bridget Clegg, wore a pair of these socks and loved how secure they felt during her entire workout. Plus, the light merino wool didn’t make her feet hot while outside in the sun.

FITS has a patented Full Contact Fit that really contours the sock to your foot so they’re nice and secure on your feet. Plus, the blend of super-fine merino wool, nylon, polyester, and Lycra is woven into a flat-knit design for a less bulky feel. These socks don't have cushioning in the footbed, so if you prefer a little more padding, try the FITS Micro-Light Runner.

Best Toe Design

Injinji Unisex 2.0 Run Lightweight No Show Toe Socks


Don’t be weirded out by the toes. This unique design protects from skin-to-skin friction for long-distance runners and has helped Injinji amass a huge following. You’ll be able to tell the difference, especially when you’re running on uneven terrain. Tester Brian Murray Jr. wore them during his treadmill runs and was surprised by how much he enjoyed the toe-design feel.

The fabric of Injinji’s running socks is made up of COOLMAX fibers to wick away moisture, nylon for added toughness, and Lycra to help hold its shape, including a band under the arch for support and internal stability.

Best All-Around Fitness Sock

Darn Tough Men's Vertex No Show Tab Ultra-Light Socks


These merino wool socks are the official sock of Spartan Races, so you know they’ve been put to the test. The fibers are naturally antimicrobial, antibacterial, and knitted in a technique that allows them to be pretty Darn Tough — pun intended. We like the performance fit of these socks, especially how the front ankle area is designed with less fabric to eliminate bunching.

Marathon runner and tester Jon Karadimas liked how light and thin the socks were, and commented on how the low rise hits at the perfect spot on the ankle.

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Most Breathable Sock

Lululemon Men's T.H.E. Sock


Lululemon’s seamless construction and mesh design is all about breathability. The material — made from sweat-wicking yarn — has a thicker, high-quality feel to it while still offering ample room for air. They also have extra cushioning on the heel and toe and added arch support. Karadimas thought they came up a little high for an ankle sock, but the support they provided made it a nonissue.

If you’re prone to smelly feet, Lululemon offers a version with Silverescent technology in the fabric that prohibits odor-causing bacteria from forming on the socks.

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Best Arch Support

Rockay Unisex Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks


Rockay’s Accelerate Anti-Blister socks have earned high marks from most publications that review running socks, like Runner's World and Business Insider to name a few. The sock contains specific ventilation zones around the areas most prone to blisters, as well as extra padding in the heel and ankle. Plus, the brand uses 100% recyclable materials to construct the sock.

Our tester, Bridget Clegg, thought that they’d even be great for hikes, in addition to running. The elastic around the top of the sock is designed to be a little tighter in order to keep out dust and dirt.

Most Secure Sock

Under Armour Unisex Run Cushion No Show Socks


These UnderArmour socks are a great choice from a trusted athletic brand. The thinness of the material lends well to keeping your feet cool, while the ArmourBlock prevents any stinky bacteria from growing. Murray felt that the additional cushioning around the ball of his foot helped make the socks more comfortable during longer runs.

The socks also have a seamless toe design, arch support, and ventilation on the top of the foot to prevent your feet from heating up quickly.

Best Moisture-Wicking Sock

Thirty48 Unisex Ultralight Athletic Running Socks (3-pack)


The moisture-wicking qualities in Thirty48’s ultra light athletic running socks were a stand out to our tester Jackie Murray during her daily runs. They’ll feel like a second skin because they're anatomically designed to be the correct fit on your foot. Plus, the seamless toe closure allows for 360-degree movement without any abrasion. Just be aware that they don’t sit as low on your ankle as most of the other socks on our list.

Best Padded Sock

Saucony Unisex Inferno No Show Tab Socks


Saucony’s Inferno No Show socks offer a lot of cushion while still providing moisture control, thanks to the brand's RunDry Pro moisture-wicking yarns. Murray Jr. tested these out and felt the air-mesh vents on top of the feet were the best part because they kept his feet from getting too hot.

These socks also offer Engineered Arch Stability to provide the most secure and stable fit for your daily runs.

Most Comfy Sock

Thorlos Unisex Edge Running Low Cut Socks



Thorlos’ Unisex VRMU running socks definitely deserve a mention on our list: just take a look at the reviews. Our tester, Matt Gorman, rated them a five out of five in the comfiness category and raved about the extra cushioning they offer. These socks have Thorlos’ C.S.S. technology (cushioned suspension system) that provides excellent fit and support. The NanoGLIDE fibers in the material help reduce friction during your run.

Read More:

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Performance socks ankle bombas running

Bombas Socks Review

Long before I got pairs of Bombas Socks in hand, their socks were recommended to me by a few trusted friends. The recommendations centered around all day comfort and durability. That, of course, piqued my interest. Afterwards, I discovered Bombas’ pledge to donate one pair of socks for every pair purchased. It’s always a nice bonus to be able to support mission-driven brands so I was again attracted to them. Finally, browsing their website revealed a focus on performance alongside running and basketball specific socks. And at WearTesters, if you’ve got a performance focus, we’re intrigued. All that convinced me. It was time to try Bombas Socks.

Since Bombas offers a lot of options, I’ve divided my review into sections focused on the versions I’ve tried. My aim is to give the pros, cons, or differences of each so you can make a decision on whether you’d like to purchase a pair. 

As always, it’s hard to foresee every potential question so feel free to reach out via Twitter or Instagram with any follow up questions. Often, audience questions let us know what else is important and help us update our reviews to better serve future readers.  

Bombas Socks Performance Running

Bombas Performance Running Socks

UPDATE: Bombas Performance Running Socks made our list of the best gifts for runners 2020.

There are a ton of “performance running socks” on the market. It can be hard to differentiate between them and tell the good from the bad. In my mind, the “need to have items” are extra cushioning at the toe and heel, arch support, and a heel tab to prevent blisters (if it’s an ankle cut sock). Bombas Performance Running Socks check all of those boxes. They also go the extra mile in terms of arch support with their Hex Tec midfoot band. It’s a breathable, lightweight material that provides a really nice arch hug. Since they’ve nailed the basics, let’s dive into the pros and cons: 


  • Thickness. Not too thin, not too thick. Will work for wide footers or narrow footers. Usually running socks go one way or the other. Bombas provide the perfect middle ground of thickness.
  • Breathability: The airflow is reminiscent of super thin socks even though Bombas are more substantial. The “vent” beneath the bend in the toes is especially ingenious and helps aerate a normally sweaty area.
  • Materials. The polyester/nylon/cotton/spandex blend is super comfortable. It’s a soft sock that you can wear all day (or for a marathon).
  • Arch support. As I mentioned above, the Hex Tec band is very effective and comfortable.
  • Sporting specific design. Bombas’ running design varies quite a bit from their basketball, cycling, and tennis designs. It’s nice to see sport specific socks.
  • Durability. Bombas have a great reputation in this area. I wore mine a lot and put them through the washer/dryer many times. They still look basically new. Though I haven’t tested long term durability yet, that’s a good sign of things to come.
  • Available in ankle, quarter, and calf heights. Depending on where you run and what shoes you use, you may prefer a different height. It’s strange they’re all the same price, but the flexibility to choose is nice.
  • Blister tabs. With Bombas performance running socks you get both front and back blister tabs. It’s a nice little touch that provides 360° protection from potentially uncomfortable shoe collars.
  • Stay-up technology. Not sure exactly what type of elastic Bombas uses, but it works. The calf socks don’t slide down even when soaked with sweat on a hot day. My lower legs are usually remarkably efficient at pushing down any crew height sock during athletic activity but the Bombas stayed in place both when new and after several washings.


  • Slickness. Bombas Performance Running socks are occasionally a little too slippery for some shoes (heavily dependent on insole material) and floors. They’re not crazy slick like a lot of dress socks but they’re just a touch slicker than I’d like. I think it’s a fair trade off for the overall comfort and softness, but it’s something to note.
  • Dust. Black colorways attract a lot of dust. Make sure you use dryer sheets. Dryer balls just won’t cut it in terms of drying them without a lot of particles clinging to your dark socks.

Overall, Bombas Performance Running socks are winners. The $16 price point is in line with other performance running socks, there’s a ton of fun color options, and they’re super comfortable.

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Bombas Socks Merino Performance Running

Bombas Merino Performance Running Socks

The Bombas Merino Performance Running Socks look exactly the same as Bombas normal performance running socks. But here’s how they’re different:

  • Materials. The Merino version is 51% wool, 45% nylon, and 4% spandex vs the original’s 51% polyester, 33% Nylon, 12% cotton, and 4% spandex. 
  • Warmth and breathability. Due to the wool, they’re warmer and less breathable. The temperature regulation is good. The Merino version will keep my toes warmer on a cold day but isn’t ideal for high heat or humidity.
  • Dust. Just like other wool socks I’ve owned, they pick up hair and dust easily. They pick up less hair and dust than the highly reviewed Darn Tough merino wool running sock. While durable, the Darn Tough socks run a little too hot. I think the build of the Bombas Merino Wool running sock is much better for cooling down sweaty feet.
  • Softness. Not quite as soft as Bombas regular performance running socks.
  • Slickness. The merino performance running socks are slightly slicker than the regular version. If your house has naturally slick floors, be careful.
  • No calf height version. Only available in an ankle height configuration. Bombas does make longer versions for hiking, skiing/snowboarding, and casual wear.
  • Price. The merino wool version costs $2 more. This is less than I expected. Merino wool clothing is often much more expensive than normal versions.

If you need warmer socks or love the feel of Merino wool, the $2 merino wool “upgrade” will be worth it for you. Otherwise, stick with Bombas regular performance running socks as everything else is the same.

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Bombas Socks All Purpose Performance

Bombas All-Purpose Performance Socks

The Bombas All-Purpose Performance Socks also look very similar to performance running socks but they’re not tuned specifically for one sport, instead taking a more general approach.

At 80% polyester and 20% cotton, the all-purpose socks feel more like an upgraded version of the traditional cotton sock. These socks feel built for all day use with the occasional run, sport, or gym time thrown in. I prefer the material blend of the performance running socks but others may prefer this mix.

The All-Purpose performance sock is priced the same as the performance running sock but ditches the highly elastic Hex Tec arch support for a thicker, less elastic version (also called Hex Tec on the sock itself). The All-Purpose sock is thicker all around so you get increased padding versus the running specific version. You also lose the front blister tab. Finally the all-purpose performance socks feature the Bombas Crowned Bee logo prominently on the top of the foot (ankle version) and the lateral side of the calf height version. I’m not a fan of the bee logo but your mileage may vary.

At the same price as the performance running socks it’s hard for me to recommend the All-Purpose Performance Socks instead. The All-Purpose look a little more traditional and less running tech-y, are thicker all around, and feel more like a traditional sock. If that’s the kind of feel you prefer, you’ll be happy with them.

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Bombas Socks Compression

Bombas Compression Socks

Bombas makes another sock aimed at performance, specifically recovery. Bombas Compression Socks are knee high with medium strength compression meant to encourage circulation in the lower leg to reduce swelling and aid in recovery.

Bombas use 15-20 mmhg of compression. That’s not as much compression as more expensive brands (want more compression…that’ll be $60 per pair of socks 🤯) but for $18 you’re getting more than you’d expect at that price point. They’re also the softest, most comfortable compression socks I’ve owned. Durability-wise they’re holding up just as well as my $60 pair. In addition, Bombas offers a bunch of fun colors with a clean design. A lot of compression socks have bright colors but no sense of fashion. 

There are some cons but they’re relatively small. First, you’re not supposed to put them in the dryer. I don’t dry a large portion of my workout clothes so this wasn’t a big deal for me, but I know a lot of readers dry everything and this may be an annoyance. Second, the calf and arch compression are really good but I wish there was more compression around the achilles. That’s a trouble area for many runners and could use some extra blood flow to promote healing. Admittingly, that’s a hard area to compress and it’s an area only the more expensive compression socks and ankle sleeves tend to do well.

Bombas Compression Socks are a solid deal at their $18 price point and a great way to try out compression with a good looking sock that’s comfortable and durable. They come in handy for sore legs and feet so it’s nice to have a pair in your sock drawer.

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Bombas Socks Basketball

Bombas Performance Basketball Socks Review

Bombas Performance Basketball socks are our second favorite basketball socks behind Strideline. Strideline Socks are more streamlined, $4 less expensive per pair, and come in a mid cut version. That said, some of you may prefer Bombas Basketball Socks.

Bombas material mix of 61% Polyester, 25% Nylon, 11% Cotton, and 3% Spandex creates a really soft, comfortable sock. That’s not surprising given all the other comfy socks Bombas makes. Just like with other Bombas models, the Hex Tec honeycomb arch support really hugs your foot and provides a good amount of support. And the seamless toe is the chef’s kiss. It makes a huge difference. I don’t understand why other sock brands can’t manage to make a seamless toe. If toe seams give you hot spots, the seamless toe can save you blisters and the healing time. Also, ample padding around the ankle area make these the perfect socks to wear with any shoes you own that have rough or uncomfortable collars.

Comfort aside, there’s some improvements I’m hoping for in future versions. I feel that Bombas basketball socks are overly-padded in certain places and could make better use of zoned cushioning. That would allow better airflow to the top and upper sides of the foot. In addition, I would like to see Bombas create a mid version. I know a lot of players prefer mid cut basketball socks and I’m one of them. They tend to stay up on the leg better and make it easier to wear 3/4 compression tights. Finally, just like with the Running Performance Socks, the Basketball socks can be slippery in certain shoes or when using slicker insoles. It doesn’t happen a lot, but there are some shoes where the really soft Bombas materials slide a bit easier than other basketball socks.

Overall, Bombas Performance Basketball Socks are really comfy on foot, durable, and really focus on saving you from blisters and hot spots. I really enjoy having Bombas Basketball Socks as part of my sock rotation and I think a lot of people will feel they’re the best basketball socks on the market.

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Bombas Performance Tennis Socks Review

Bombas Socks Tennis

Bombas Performance Tennis Socks are fairly similar to Bombas Performance Basketball Socks with slight variations in compression location, padding patterns, and materials mix.

The materials mix is similar to the basketball socks with 60% Polyester, 22% Nylon, 15% Cotton, and 3% Spandex. In fact, it’s so similar I didn’t notice a difference. Hex Tec still offers awesome arch support and the ankle version of the tennis socks has two extra sewn-in elastic stay up bands behind the arch. I’m guessing this was done to secure the socks against the constant back, front, and side-to-side motion that happens in tennis. In my experience, there was no sliding and the socks stayed in place over hours of outdoor tennis.

However, the cushioning pattern on the ball of the foot is where these socks performed poorly. No matter what I did in these socks, the divided pattern chewed up the balls of my feet. Whether I was playing tennis, running, or just wearing them casually I felt every one of the seven lines bisecting the padding. I’m not sure why they designed the socks this way (I imagine something to do with the side to side motion of tennis) but it absolutely killed their comfort and usability for any athletic activities.

Bombas Performance Tennis Socks are available in both ankle and calf versions and are really comfortable…except for right below the balls of your feet. And that’s a dealbreaker. These are one of the only Bombas Socks I can’t recommend.

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Bombas Performance Gripper Socks Review

Bombas Socks Grippers

With the majority of us stuck inside for long periods of time, it was the perfect moment to review Bombas Performance Gripper Socks. They’re designed to be indoor slippers for houses with slicker wood and tile floors. They can also keep your foot from sliding around inside shoes.

The material mix is similar to other Bombas socks using 63% Polyester, 24% Nylon, 9% Cotton, and 4% Spandex. So they’re definitely comfortable. The sticky dots at the bottom are made of 100% Silicone. But the use of dots made me not like them inside shoes. I felt like the dots were jabbing the bottom of my feet at all times and it just wasn’t comfortable.

I did like the Bombas Grippers as house slippers and they’d make great socks for trampoline parks. As house slippers, they don’t slip. See what I did there? The silicone is high grade and attached firmly so the little dots don’t fall off with multiple washings or from high wear. At trampoline parks, their comfort is 100 times better than the crappy socks they always give you. If you exercise often at trampoline parks, see if they’ll let you not wear Bombas instead. Your feet will thank you.

Overall, Bombas Performance Gripper Socks do exactly what they claim and grip like crazy. They’re perfect as house slippers and at trampoline parks. Whether you like them in shoes probably depends on how sensitive the bottom of your feet are. But they’re durable and fun with the great arch support and comfort you’d expect from Bombas. You can feel confident purchasing them for these types of use cases.

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Bombas Customer Support

I’ve read numerous accounts of Bombas Socks customer support being extremely helpful and accommodating. I didn’t have any reason to get in touch with them myself but looked across the internet for reviews. My search revealed very little criticism of their support system. Their customer focus and good return policy stood out thus making purchasing relatively risk free. I always like when that’s the case because you get more peace of mind when buying. 

To see current deals, sales, and promo codes, see our Deals page.

Performance Running 2

Thanks to Bombas Socks for sending pairs to test. Bombas was not given any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the socks for running, basketball, weight training, casual wear, and more. 

Drew Whitcomb

The creator of the WearTesters name and original site, head of operations, and running shoes reviewer. Most days you'll find me in my home office, running, or chatting on the WearTesters Discord server.
Bombas Performance Running Calf Socks Review

The 8 Best Running Socks of 2021, According to Runners

To find the best running socks for you, consider factors like breathability, sweat-wicking fabrics and no-fall heel tabs.

Image Credit:

When it comes to running, your socks are almost as important as your running shoes. After all, tossing on a pair of plain old cotton socks can leave your feet blistered and bleeding after a long workout.

Trouble is, searching for the perfect running socks can be overwhelming. How thick should they be? What material? How tall do you want your socks to be?

Like the best running shoes, the best running socks are different for everyone. And runners often have their personal ideas on what makes a good sock.

To help you narrow your search for the perfect running socks, we chatted with experienced runners on their favorite pairs. Here are eight of the best running socks money can buy.

Manufacturers typically market socks according to gender, so we have listed both women's and men's picks below. Generally, men's socks are available in larger lengths. So, people with bigger feet may want to opt for men's versions (when applicable), whereas people with smaller feet may prefer women's versions (when applicable). However, some companies make unisex sock sizing, so make sure to read the product label before you buy.

1. Best for Breathability: Asics Cushion Low Cut

Asics is a go-to shoe for many runners, and its socks are somehow cloud-like ​and​ breathable, says Sarah Klein, CPT, managing editor at

Plenty of lightweight socks for runners feel too thin, but not these, Klein says. This sock offers plenty of comfortable cushioning. These have a thinner heel tab (the fabric designed to protect the back of your heel from rubbing against your shoe), too, that keeps your sock from slipping off but doesn't feel too snug in the back.

Regularly $10, these socks are also several dollars cheaper than other leading running socks, so stock up.

Buy it:​; ​Price:​ $10

2. Best for Durability: Darn Tough Vertex No Show Tab Ultra-Light Cushion Sock

Runners who push the limits need a sock that can go the distance with them. The high-quality stitching on this snug, light and supportive Merino wool sock is, well, ​darn​ ​tough​.

But if you do end up poking a hole in the sock, like Brooklyn-based runner Masha Portiansky did once after a fall, Darn Tough sends a replacement, thanks to their lifetime warranty.

Another bonus: The sock is antimicrobial, so it repels bacteria and odor. But yes, you still have to wash them.

Buy it:​ (men); (women); ​Price:​ $17

3. Best Crew Height: Stance Run Uncommon Solid Crew

This pricier sock is well worth the investment, according to Drew Reynolds, a runner and running photographer. "I've yet to have a pair rip out yet," he says. The sock has a durable, quick-drying synthetic material to wick away sweat.

In addition to this comfortable crew, Stance also offers over-the-calf, ankle, tab and no-show socks for runners who like a range of sock heights. And Stance Run is good for all distances — from 5Ks to marathons, he says.

Buy it:​ (men); (women); ​Price:​ $16.99-$18

4. Best Ankle Length: Feetures High-Performance Cushion Quarter

An OG in the running sock space, Feetures is a go-to brand for many runners, especially those who like the anatomical design. What's that? Feetures socks are left-foot and right-foot specific, which may offer a better fit.

Logan Yu, an avid runner with a 2:48 marathon and 4:22 mile, recommends the quarter (aka ankle) length in both thick and thin materials. "Some shoes tend to cut up my ankles, and I hate having a tiny piece of skin cold and exposed in the winter," he says.

Buy it:​; ​Price:​ $13

5. Best Sweat-Wicking: Balega Hidden Comfort

This South African sock has a strong foothold in the running community. Balega offers seven lines of socks to choose from, including a kids' design. If you love a good cushion, the Hidden Comfort is the running sock for you, according to fitness writer Bojana Galic.

As for the sweat-wicking ability? No matter which Balega line you choose, your feet remain dry and comfortable. "I never feel these socks shift inside my shoe, and they don't feel damp after a run," she says. "There's for sure some kind of magic going on there."

Buy it​:; ​Price:​ $13

6. Best Compression: Bombas Performance Running Ankle Sock

This popular sock made a name for itself on ​Shark Tank​. If you like a hug around your midfoot, Bombas has much tighter compression than other socks for runners. The benefit? They don't feel chunky inside of your running shoes.

And you can feel good when you buy these socks: For every pair of Bombas you purchase, the company donates a pair to people who are homeless.

Buy it:​; ​Price:​ $16

7. Best Heel Tab: Balega Hidden Contour

Prefer a more fitted sock? Balega Hidden Contour is the way to go, Galic says. She loves the snug, compression feel in the arch and heel.

The supportive fit may also help with proper blood circulation, thanks to the positioning of the sock's elastic bands around the arch and mid-foot. And the super high heel tab is a nice bonus, according to Galic.

"I have really narrow heels and my socks slip into my shoe all the time," she says. "I never have that problem with this sock."

Buy it:​; ​Price:​ $14

8. Best Minimal Cushion: SmartWool PhD Run Light Elite Micro Socks

This model is virtually non-existent thanks to its ultra-lightness and no-show — or "micro" in SmartWool speak — design.

The Run Light Elite Micro may be best for speedy track sessions in minimalist racing flats or for marathoners who prefer less cushion. When you want your shoes to take care of the cushioning, this sock is the best way to go, according to John Riccardi, an athlete and web developer for the North Brooklyn Runners.

Despite the barely there feel, these socks have a long life, thanks to the quality. That's a bonus considering they're nearly $20 per pair.

As for wicking, the Merino wool prevents the sweat from his feet from getting cold and damp during the winter months in Wisconsin, according to Riccardi. "No one likes dank socks."

Buy it​:; ​Price:​ $18.95

1. Sock Height

For the most part, sock height is a personal preference, according to Janet Hamilton, CSCS, registered clinical exercise physiologist and owner of Running Strong in Atlanta. But an easy way to narrow down your search depends on the temperature.

In cooler weather, Hamilton likes a pair of longer, quarter socks. These protect your ankles from brisk winds. Longer socks are also a better choice for trail running, she says. These can keep rocks or twigs from slipping into your shoe and sock.

But in hotter areas, she recommends ankle height or no-shows with heel tabs (more on that below) to avoid getting too sweaty.

2. Heel Tabs

Traditionally, Hamilton doesn't love no-show socks because can slip down into your shoe, meaning you have to stop and readjust during a run. That's why heel tabs are a must.

This little piece of fabric on the heel of low-cut, no-show socks helps keep the fabric in place for a distraction-free run. Plus, they protect your achilles from rubbing and blistering against the back of your shoe.

Different socks have different heel tab heights, ranging from a pinky-width to a thumb-width in size. To find your perfect width, it's best to take several pairs on a test run (pun intended), Hamilton says.

3. Sock Cushion

Again, this one is personal preference, Hamilton says. She coaches runners that love a thin, second-skin feel, while others prefer heavy cushion socks. There's no right or wrong choice, necessarily. And it just comes down to trying several pairs yourself.

But one thing to keep in mind: Some extra cushion may be a bonus on a long run. During longer runs, your feet pound the pavement (or treadmill) for quite a while and extra cushion can feel more comfortable.

Similarly, a lot of speed shoes have a more minimal, sleek design. And cramming a thick sock in the shoe can feel too snug and heavy. So, for speed workouts, a thinner sock may be beneficial.

4. Sock Material

Running socks come in all kinds of materials, like wool and polyester and all have their pros and cons. Wool socks are great for cooler weather, since they dry quickly and keep your feet warm. Spandex and polyester are lighter, more breathable fabrics, ideal for hot temperatures.

But the number-one thing to look for in a fabric is one that wicks moisture. Sweaty feet are inevitable during a run, so you want a material that's labeled as either quick-drying or moisture-wicking, Hamilton says. Typically, you can find this in the product details for the socks you're considering.

Make sure to avoid cotton socks. Cotton absorbs moisture and doesn't dry too quickly — and you don't want to feel like you're running in puddles.

Additional reporting by Bojana Galic.

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